I love the series “Mad Men.” Most of the time, I confound my husband by binge watching episodes of it on Netflix. And I’ve been especially giddy as I’ve barreled through season six. I won’t spoil plotlines for you, but there was a particular scene in which the Madison Avenue advertising protagonist, Don Draper was pitching to Hershey’s. Yes, the Hershey’s, the famous chocolate candy bar.
Anyway, in this pitch meeting, Don calls the candy bar “the childhood symbol of love” and the “currency of affection.”
It’s squirmy and brings to my mind the food issues many of us who struggle with disordered eating possess. I have my own memories of the Hershey’s bar, during college, in my highly bulimic phase, gorging on many of them via campus vending machines. And yes, in my desperation, I was trying for that “childhood symbol of love” and “currency of affection.” However, the candy bar did not deliver.
Food issues have been around since the very beginning.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. Genesis 3:6
Eve may not have had a full-blown eating disorder, but it’s probably safe to say she had some unrealistic expectations about the object of her fancy.
And isn’t that where we get ourselves into trouble? Believing food will love, soothe and solve our lives? No such thing is possible, however. We back the wrong horse.
God isn’t anti-candy bar. Scripture tells us food is not the evil issue…
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. 1 Corinthians 10:23
All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 1 Corinthians 6:12
The issue occurs, however, when we place such importance to food. When we expect it to heal our childhoods, provide unconditional love, support and entertainment, that’s usually when we run into such problems. It will fail us, not because it’s evil, but because it was never designed to serve that purpose in the first place. God, however, does fulfill that role.
We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3
“…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
It’s not instantaneous or necessarily easy to experience God’s love “just like that,” to be free from all disorder and pain, but turning to Him, rather than away from Him is a starting point. It’s one which God can worth through and with. God is exactly Who/what we are looking for.
At the end of the day, a candy bar is just a candy bar.
But how much sweeter, how much more can God be to us, in spite of ourselves?
It’s worth checking out, right?